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Like Boca Chica, Juan Dolio is a story of boom and bust. The resort area began life as a pristine beach and developed into the place for Santo Domingoans to go on the Southeast Coast for sun and sea. When the Europeans discovered it, the all-inclusive resorts started springing up. In the early 1990s it was a pioneer in the all-inclusive concept, which caught on immediately, and no sooner was the blaze ignited than North Americans started to jump on it as well. But as soon as Punta Cana became the newer hot spot, the turistas started to abandon Juan Dolio for its newer, more luxurious AIs and long expanses of palm-studded beach—with white sand, at that.
The resorts dropped their prices to try to stem the flood of tourists heading farther east, but in doing so they had to cut food costs and service staff, the best of whom were already being recruited by Punta Cana. As food went downhill and rooms became shabbier, Juan Dolio entered a years-long cycle of slow decline.
More recently, things are looking much better. Just about every hotel is either new or heavily renovated, and the beach has been revitalized under a new program spearheaded by President Lionel Fernández and the State Secretariat of Tourism. Juan Dolio is now closer to Miami's South Beach than any other place in the Dominican Republic, and is now striving to attract more chic tourists to its shores to supplement the bargain-basement, mass-market tourism of the past decade.
Juan Dolio at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
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